Monday, November 29, 2010

Wintertime Itasca

Itasca was a good pickup for us last summer. Her bloodlines are very impressive as is her fleece. Her fleece is very soft, crimpy and dense, it made a wonderful 2 ply sock yarn with a perfect amount of elasticity and bounce.

Her mother is Whistlestop 0427, who has provided some pretty amazing lambs in her life (Wintertime Blues, Wintertime Jazz, Wintertime Ruby, and Itasca). She carries polled and moorit, and has a good conformation, but her fleece is her main selling point. Jen knit these socks from Itasca's wonderful wool.

We look forward to seeing what she can throw next spring, as she had two of our nicest lambs this year.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Whispering Pines Primrose

Primrose has a similar body type to Irish Lace, but not quite as tall and long. Still, proportionally, she meets my standards. She’s very square and level. As a two year old, her fleece is dense and uniform, with a nice micron. It’s a nice handling fleece. She’s a smaller, more petite ewe. I like most things about this ewe. She is an F4 Jing and F4 Jericho ewe.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Whispering Pines Irish Lace

This ewe is probably close to my ideal in terms of body type and carriage. She is level and square, but also has a nice body to leg ratio. She is a product of a breeding we did last year between Firth of Fifth Leyland (a Black Forrest son and grandson):
and our own Buttercup. Buttercup was a smaller ewe who had nice body length and overall conformation. I always liked her conformation a great deal. Great legs and topline!
Leyland had longer legs (like his father), but not my ideal body type. It was nice, but not exactly what I like. Irish Lace probably gave us a nice combination of those two sheep. Her fleece is longer, but not quite as dense as her mother’s (who was very dense). She has nice lock structure, and fineness, and I just like a lot of things about her. In my opinion, she is an excellent Shetland, which is a little odd for me to say because she looks nothing like Sparkles, who is also extremely nice. I like them in different ways, I guess.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

S'More Sparkles

Sparkles is another foundation ewe that continues to make the cut each year (and a lot of good ones have not). I like her conformation and fleece a great deal. All of her lambs seem to possess traits that I like as well. She’ll be three this spring. She has a longer fleece than some of our sheep, and also has very nice density, which is sometimes lacking in the longer-fleeced sheep we have seen. Sparkles is an F2 Orion. She’s just a collection of nice genetics that I like. She is also our only Ag sheep, for what it's worth. She’s another ewe that I still have passion about. She is correct. There are several ways we can go with her breeding for this year. I’d like to pull moorit out of her, since we lack a lot of brown-based ewes in our flocks. Genetics aside, I just think she’s an excellent Shetland.

We are keeping her daughter from this year:

And this is her incredible ram lamb who I expect great things from:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sheltering Pines Cor de Nuit

As I’ve said in the past, she has one of the nicer conformations I’ve seen in a Shetland. She’s stockier than some, and certainly more so than I personally prefer, but she is so square and correct. She is shorter in the legs than I like as well, but since Shetlands come in all shapes and sizes, I don’t get all that concerned with variation around the ideal. If I showed, I’d probably use her. Her fleece has wonderful crimp, luster, and density. She routinely produces around five pounds of fleece. I’d like to have more sheep like her. She scores high in our rating system.
Her bloodlines are quite nice as well. She’s a Thelonius Monk daughter. Her mother is Justalit’l Lana, who is out of Bramble Dixen. All of those sheep have produced well. It’s all about production here at Whispering Pines. You produce correct lambs, or you don’t stick around. Cor will be five this spring, so she has stuck around.

We elected to keep one of her twin ram lambs this year, Egyptian King above.

And Juliann has his spotted twin, Saturday Night.
Now we just need Cor de Nuit to produce some ewes for us!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sheltering Pines Queen Anne's Lace

I like this ewe as well. She has a very nice overall combination of goodies, but her fleece is her strongest point, in my estimation. I haven’t come across many Shetlands with the kind of uniformity and consistency that she has. And it’s uniform from front-to-back, with great density and luster. As a result, it feels soft and is a pleasure to spin and wear. It’s the type of fleece we’re after for sure.

Queen Anne is out of Bramble Nick, is an F3 Greyling, and also has Jamie and Heatheram Lightning in her immediate pedigree as well. I like good bloodlines, and she has some very good sheep in her immediate background.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sheltering Pines Persia

Persia is one of my favorites. I like her bloodlines, but she has a conformation that excites me as well. I like the long legged Shetlands. There’s certainly a limit to that, but it’s an elegant look that appeals to me more than the fat, stubby-legged sheep you see in some pictures. It’s a personal preference. As long as it remains proportionate to the length of body, I think it looks good. Her fleece? Also extremely nice. It has nice uniformity from the shoulders to the britch, and it has nice density. Here is a hat made from her skirtings, which is remarkable soft and wearable.It also has a nice silver grey color and luster. I liked her when we brought her in last year, and I haven’t lost any of my enthusiasm about her.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ewe a day - Onyx Velour

Well, it’s that time of year again. A time when we are forced to review our entire flock and decide which ewes to breed to which ram. I’ve always found this to be an exciting time. I enjoy planning for the future. It’s a time to reflect on the successes and failures of the past, so that we can build on them for the future. We do believe our breeding program is heading in the right direction. There are multiple signs that we are doing some things right, even if it doesn’t seem to happen as fast as we want it to.
With that said, we want to continue the tradition of introducing our flock, and then ease into breeding groups (which will give me time to actually come up with them). Our intent was to get our flock down to 18 ewes this fall, and we accomplished that. We ended up selling a couple that we really wanted to keep, but I feel more comfortable with 18 than 20. I would feel even more comfortable with 14, but I don’t know if that’s in the cards anytime soon. Maybe.

I'll start with the adult ewes and work our way into the keeper lambs.

Sheltering Pines Onyx Velour

She’s three this fall and still looking very nice. She’s nicely built for a Shetland, and her fleece is quite nice. As a three year old, we’re quite happy with her micron results. She has flaws, but most of them do. The important thing is that her flaws are relatively small by my score card, and breeding her to the right ram could produce extraordinary lambs, like this year. If you look at her overall value, she has a great conformation and nice fleece for a spotted gulmoget. Onyx is a Thelonius Monk daughter, and is an F2 Dillon.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Morning Glory’s Ram

Morning Glory's ram is very similar to Tiara’s guy. He has great luster and his conformation is right there as well. He’s also a half-poll. I would rate both of these rams quite similarly. Tiara's has longer scurs. Both are out of Bond. I think their fleeces will be very similar as yearlings. Both are good prospects for a flock looking for polled genetics, interesting colors and markings and higher quality fleeces.

Sire: Wintertime Bond S29187
Dam: Whispering Pines Morning Glory S27358
DOB: 4/24/10
Sex/Mult: Ram/Twin
Genotype: AbAt/BbBb/SSS?/MMM?
Color: Fawn
Pattern: Gulmoget/Katmoget
Spotting: May carry spots
UK Content: 37%
Poll genetics: Half poll

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tiara's Ram

I really like the conformation of Tiara's ram. Even as a lamb his backside was really solid. He is a half-poll mioget katmoget out of Wintertime Bond. His fleece has the nicest luster of the group, I think. His fleece will also be longer than the other rams we’re offering, so if that appeals to you, he might be a good choice.
Sire: Wintertime Bond S29187
Dam: Under the Son Tiara S24624
DOB: 5/2/10
Sex/Mult: Ram/Single
Genotype: AbAa/SSS?/MmMm/BbBb
Color: Mioget
Pattern: Katmoget
Spotting: May carry spots
UK Content: 35%
Poll genetics: Half poll

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Jasmine's Ram

Jasmine is one of our own ewes out of V Creek Fantasia. We’ve liked her fleece from day one, and we were hoping to add some additional fineness to it by breeding her to Bond last fall. This ram is the successful result. He would be a great flock sire for someone breeding for spots, pattern, and fine fleece. He is a half-poll.
Sire: Wintertime Bond S29187
Dam: Whispering Pines Jasmine S29812
DOB: 4/20/10
Sex/Mult: Ram/Single
Genotype: AbA?/BBB?/SSSs/MMM?
Color: Black
Pattern: Katmoget
Spotting: Carries Spots
UK Content: 38%
Poll genetics: Half poll

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cor d Nuit's Spotted Polled Ram

His solid black twin brother will be staying here, but this ram is for sale. There is a lot to like about this ram! He’s built like a brick house for one thing. His fleece is very uniform from front to back (as is the case with all of these guys). I don’t believe he will be as fine as some of our ram lambs, but I do believe he will test at or below 25 microns. If it goes that way, I will be happy. He is out of some great bloodlines.

He would also make a great flock sire for someone into spotted sheep. He will improve a lot of flocks, and add some fineness as well. And, he is polled! If he doesn’t sell, we will hold onto him and see how his fleece develops as a yearling. So much potential here!
Sire: Wintertime Bond S29187
Dam: Sheltering Pines Cor D Nuit S22529
DOB: 4/18/10
Mult: Twin
Genotype: AaAa/BBB?/SsSs/MMM?
Color: Black
Pattern: Solid
Spotting: Smirslet
UK content: 51%
Poll genetics: Fully polled

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cosmos's Ram

It seems like everyone else, we have an abundance of rams this year at Whispering Pines Farm. We’ve had a good ratio of rams to ewes the last two years, but, as luck would have it, we have had a good number of remarkable sheep whose only flaw is their gender. Of our entire ram crop this year, we are using a couple this fall, but have decided to offer up seven exceptional rams that we think can help farms improve their flocks in a variety of ways. I will blog on each one separately, micron tests are pending.
Cosmos' is one of our youngest rams (DOB 5/9) so we’ll have to continue monitoring him. We like what we see so far, however. He’s very flashy and soft, and we love the bloodlines. He is 43% UK out of Dillon, Timothy, and Minder, but he also has a good domestic line that I admire for its conformation. He has short scurs right now. We will overwinter this guy if he doesn’t sell. He is one of the better all around spotted moorit rams that I’ve seen. He’s not spectacular in any one area, but is very good in all of them. He has the potential to be quite impressive as a yearling.
Sire: Wintertime Bond S29187
Dam: Whispering Pines Cosmos S29814
DOB: 5/9/10
Color: Moorit
Pattern: Solid
Spotting: Yuglet Sokket
Poll genetics: 1/2 poll

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fiber Fun with the Family...

My cousin was in from out of town, and she came out for a visit with Aunts and cousins. We watched the sheep, had a nice lunch and then I introduced them to needlefelting. Great visit, very talented group!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ram Lambs for sale

I’m amazed at how much lambs change from birth to two months. Some lambs you don’t like at all at birth, and they turn out to be amazing, while others go the other way. After spending the past two months constantly evaluating our lambs, I feel confident in offering the following ram lambs for sale. Some will no doubt turn out better than others, but I feel confident that each will make a positive contribution to the Shetland gene pool. If they don’t sell, most will go to auction, which is a shame for the breed, but it’s also reality. The good news is that the ones that do end up being flock sires, will help the breed in a big way! These are the best rams we’ve ever offered!
I’m going to break them down into polled/scurred vs. full horns.

Full Horns

Both of Pyrenee’s Morn’s ram lambs are the pick of the litter this year (to borrow Julianne’s terminology). Both have stunning fleeces, but I have a preference for the lighter of the two. He has an absolutely perfect Shetland head!

Both of these guys need to be part of someone’s breeding program, and I’m going to do whatever I can to make that happen. I’m no longer breeding with horned rams, so I’m unlikely to keep them myself. They are 58% UK out of Blue’s Clues (a Jericho grandson), and Pyrenee’s Morn (a Greyling granddaughter). That makes them F3 Jericho and F3 Greyling! The genetics don’t get any better, and I challenge you to find better rams anywhere either! Both could carry spots and moorit from their father.


Morning Glory’s fawn gul kat is extremely nice. He’s definitely flock sire caliber!

Right now, he appears to be single coated. His fleece won’t be overly short, and it is crimpy and uniform from front to back. I like this guy a lot. There’s no point in keeping him because we don’t have enough ewes to set up another breeding group. With this lamb, you are getting Sheltering Pines, Under The Son, and Wintertime genetics in one animal. His father is Wintertime Bond, who is as nice a polled ram as you are going to find. He may carry spots as both parents do.

Tiara’s mioget katmoget ram is also very nice.

Don't want to be crass, but frankly, this guy has the best rear end of any lamb we had born this year.

Tiara's lamb is also out of Wintertime Bond, and has a similar genetic background as Morning Glory’s. Very nice! He may carry spots. Both parents do.

Jasmine’s ram has turned out very nice! He is a grey katmoget out of Wintertime Bond and Whispering Pines Jasmine, who has Bartok and Greyling in her background! Jasmine’s father is Sheltering Pines Cihat who is out of domestic lines. This guy has very small buds at this point, and carries outstanding spotting genetics. He’ll throw some wild spots! He is single coated, and I expect his fleece to be in the 3” to 4” range as a yearling. I’d love to see him in someone’s breeding program. He would add a great deal to the Shetland gene pool! I really can’t find any flaws in him right now. He would help to improve most flocks.

Cor de Nuit’s lamb is also very nice. Excellent conformation and spotted! The negatives? Not much.

His nice dense fleece will probably be in the 4” to 5.5” range. Wintertime Bond is the father. Right now, he has rough patches on his head, but at two months, he’s not showing buds.

If you are interested, we’ll do a complete evaluation (which means, I’ll ask someone who has more polled experience than I have). I do think this guy is going to be an excellent spotted Shetland ram, however. This guy goes back to Bramble Dixen and Justalit’l Lana, two excellent poll carrying shetlands! He is 51% UK.

Constantinople’s ram lamb out of Blue’s Clues has longer scurs than our other lambs, but he is very very nice!

He has a dark blue fleece like his father, and I really like how it looks right now. He may carry moorit and spots since both parents do. He is an outstanding flock sire prospect! He is 55% UK as well!


Christmas Holly’s black ram has an excellent conformation and will most likely have a 4” to 5” yearling fleece.

I wasn’t initially sure he was polled, but he appears to be.

I can’t find many faults with this guy either. I love his genetics. Wintertime Bond is the father, and Sheltering Pines Possum is the mother (a Pompey Magnus daughter). Wintertime Black Forrest is his great grandfather. Lots of great potential in this ram! This ram could carry both spots and moorit from his father. He is 47% UK.

That’s the complete list right now. I think there’s a little something for every breeder here, and all of these rams are top shelf! Two years ago, we could’ve only dreamed about having rams of this quality. If any of these rams had been ewes, they’d be keepers!